Trust in the Lord With All Your Heart; Lean Not on Your Own Understanding — Charles Bridges (1794-1869)
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” — Proverbs 3:5-6
”This is the polar-star of a child of God—faith in his Father’s providence, promises, and grace. Let the eye look upward, and all will be light.1 This is the privilege of adoption. The unmeaning expression of trust on the lips of the ignorant and ungodly is a fearful delusion. What ground of confidence can there be, when there is every thing to fear? Can the sinner’s God—a just, avenging God—be an object of trust? What owe we to that precious atonement, which has opened up our way to a reconciled God,2 and assured our confidence in him as our Friend and Counsellor! Nor is this the cold assent of the enlightened judgment. It is the trust of the heart—of all the heart. It is a childlike confidence without wavering,3 in our Father’s well-proved wisdom, faithfulness, and love. Any limit to this confidence is a heinous provocation.4 He is truth itself. Therefore he loves, that we should take him at his word, and prove his word to the utmost extent of his power.
But our trust must not only be entire, it must be exclusive. No other confidence—no confidence in the flesh—can consist with it.5 Man with all his pride feels that he wants something to lean to. As a fallen being, he naturally leans to himself,—to his own foolish notions and false fancies. Human power is his idol. He makes his understanding his god. Many would rather be convicted of want of principle than of want of talent. Many bring God’s truth to their own bar, and cavil at it, as an excuse for rejecting it. In these and other ways, man ‘trusteth to himself, and his heart departeth from the Lord.’6 This is the history of the fall—the history of man from the fall—the dominant sin of every unhumbled heart—the lamented and resisted sin of every child of God.”
- Charles Bridges (1794-1869)
taken from: An Exposition of the Book of Proverbs, Robert Carter & Brothers, New York, 1865, pg. 21.
1 Matt. 6:22; Comp. Psalm 32:8; 34:5.
2 Rom 5:11
3 Comp. 1 Chron. 12:33; 2 Chron. 14:11; Contrast James 1:6-8
4 Psalm 78:18-21
5 Comp. Phil. 3:3
6 Jer. 17:5
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